This Palm Sunday I worshiped with Dr. Morris Jones and the congregation of Lebanon Wesleyan Church. The Lebanon church faces some of the same challenges as other small, aging congregations. Dr. Jones is leading the board in the difficult conversations about options and next steps. Please keep this congregation in your prayers.
It was a special treat to connect with Rev. Howard and Dorothy Barefoot, prayer warriors and retired ministry heroes of our district, who are back after wintering at Brooksville, Florida. Dorothy did a great job playing piano for congregational worship. We’re looking forward to connecting with all of our Crossroads District pastors and spouses (ages 65+) at our spring brunch on May 9th!
It was a great weekend for our high school students as Indiana Wesleyan University hosted hundreds of teenagers from across the midwest for FUSION 2017. Thank you to the pastors (like Steve Arnett of New Castle Mt Zion) and lay leaders who drove vans and chaperoned to make it possible for our students to participate.
I was out of the office the previous week on vacation with Sherry. Thanks to Assistant DS Chris Williams for his guest post last week on our Crossroads Team Update.
I was back to work on Wednesday and attended a special DBMD event hosted by General Director Russ Gunsalus and his team from HQ. The department has been hard at work assessing our current credentialing process and developing a new approach after extensive research and consultation with the district. Special thanks to Dr. David Smith who leads our district team in this important leadership development ministry.
The funeral for Rev. E.R. Mitchell was held at Westview Wesleyan Church on Wednesday morning so I slipped out of the DBMD meeting long enough to represent our district family. Rev. Rob Tippey, grandson, brought a heart-felt eulogy and Rev. Don Glenn shared a message from God’s Word with illustrations from the life of Caleb that reminded him of Rev. Mitchell’s life and ministry.
On Thursday and Friday, I joined the other members of the Board of Trustees for our annual spring meeting at Indiana Wesleyan University. Among the highlights of the meeting was the introduction of Dr. Colleen Derr as the new president of Wesley Seminary. Dr. Derr is one of our own Crossroads District team members (serving on our DBMD) and she’ll do a great job in this new capacity. We also heard a compelling presentation from Coach Clark and two members of the men’s basketball team about the prayer movement and life change that took place on this year’s squad.
On Friday evening, I had supper with Pastor Matt and Jennifer Stewart as they welcomed Pastor Paul James to the Sweetser Wesleyan Church for a Maximizing Impact consultation. Later that evening, we received word that Rev. W.D. James, Paul’s father, had passed away in South Carolina. We worked with Pastor Stewart to reschedule the remainder of the consultation to April 29-30. Our prayers and sympathies are extended to Rev. Paul James and the other family members in this time of loss and grief.
Saturday evening, I worshiped with Pastor Clifton Ashlock, Pastor Julio Rodriguez and the Hispanic congregation at Anderson Memorial Circle Wesleyan Church. Rev. Roy and Dylana Angulo, our new friends from Costa Rica, were ministering in the service. Memorial Circle is a powerful example of a multi-ethnic church.
This Easter week, I’m joining you in prayer as you prepare with expectancy. I’m confident that you’re not just making plans to welcome all who come, but are also preparing to follow up on guests and to disciple those who make decisions to follow Christ. May God anoint our services with a powerful visitation of His Holy Spirit and may lives be transformed by the Gospel message of Christ crucified, risen and coming again!
Your servant in Christ,
P.S. Just a gentle reminder that membership affirmations should be completed before you hold your annual conference. Only those who have affirmed their membership commitments are eligible to vote. Thank you in advance for your positive leadership on this wonderful opportunity to deepen our commitment to discipleship!